Opinion: Dorm visitation policy based on practicality

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Sarah Mountain

Contributor 

Last month, the Student Government Association (SGA) at Troy University proposed an amendment to the Housing Visitation Policy with regards to overnight guests in Rushing Hall. While it was voted down by an overwhelming majority at the SGA meeting, many students are probably wondering why it failed and remain frustrated with what they believe to be outdated policies.

The bill was proposed for Rushing Hall individual occupancy rooms only. This is likely due to the fact that single rooms deplete any roommate conflicts when having overnight guests. 

However, an important aspect of the current housing policies is that they are fair and provide the same comforts to all residents regardless of where they live or what housing they can afford. Special allowances for the most expensive dorm on-campus implies favors for certain on-campus residents over others. 

Additionally, the repeal of the midnight exit policy can only stand should the student have filled out the necessary overnight guest form, just as they would be required to for a guest of the same sex. Current policy dictates that all guests be checked out of the building at midnight, not only guests of the opposite sex.

However, if the bill were suggesting that midnight visitation curfew be dissolved in full, that would likely require the implementations of a 24-hour duty schedule for Resident Assistants to be at the desk to monitor who is going in and out of the building. Considering the size of our buildings and the number of on-campus residents, that kind of schedule would not be practical, nor possible, and the housing department would have to hire a significant number of RAs disproportionate to the number of people who live on campus.

Resident Assistants are put in charge of the safety and comfort of all residents who live in their building. Not having any means of monitoring who comes in or out of the building is not safe for the students. Dorms are not hotels, and you cannot have people coming and going the way they find acceptable; they are a place for students to sleep, work, and live, and they pay a substantial amount to do so. Having an open visitation policy violates that sense of security.

While it is a popular opinion among many students that dormitory visitation policies be updated, this bill would have caused more problems than it solved. With the current state of Troy University housing, it is not possible for this revision to be implemented. Policies can be updated, but we must be practical about how we do them. 

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